The Simon Barrow Column

Reflecting on how Christian political imagination can help change society's agenda. Follow Simon on Twitter here: www.twitter.com/simonbarrow

  • 20 Mar 2008

    The modern temptation is to dismiss resurrection as fantasy or reduce it to spiritualised sophistry, says Simon Barrow. The shape of the core Christian hope is both more substantial and more subtle than that.

  • 11 Mar 2008

    In Christian and biblical terms, good citizenship is not about flag-waving, says Simon Barrow. It is about the good practices and ways of organising our public lives which enable people to belong to one another across nation state boundaries.

  • 3 Mar 2008

    Free market ideologues have used Fairtrade Fortnight to attack what they regard as counter-productive do-gooding, says Simon Barrow. But what does freedom mean in economic terms, and is fairness something to be left wholly to markets?

  • 28 Feb 2008

    The annual Channel 4 Political Awards offer an entertaining entree to the world of parliamentary politics, says Simon Barrow. But an award to a controversial lobby group raises questions about how politics is conducted - not least by Christians.

  • 17 Feb 2008

    The natural presumption of Establishment insulates the Church of England, says Simon Barrow. Even worse, it takes the opposite direction to Jesus, who rejected worldly power in the Temptation that Christians recall during Lent.

  • 10 Feb 2008

    Asking where the Church of England can go from here, Simon Barrow looks at why and how Rowan Williams got hold of the wrong end of the stick over religious communal practice and the civil legal system, why a larger 'multi-faith settlement' is unhelpful, and how post-Christendom beckons.

  • 1 Feb 2008

    In a provocative short article in the International Herald Tribune newspaper, Phillip Blond argues that the dominant neo-liberal model of global economy is in crisis, and that both the political right and the political left have failed to understand the nature of the challenge this embodies.

  • 1 Jan 2008

    Westminster easily gets mired in posturing and trading for influence, says Simon Barrow. But there are glimmers of redemption and genuine conviction in the political vocation too - even if we need to go well beyond politics to realise them.

  • 25 Dec 2007

    Whether we love or hate Christmas, we know all about it. But the same may not be true of the coming of Jesus, says Simon Barrow. In Christ, God radically disrupts religious 'business as usual'.

  • 13 Dec 2007

    Our parliamentary politics is about mediating different interests in a society of strangers, says Simon Barrow. But bioethical decisions confront us with the need to move beyond accommodation and confrontation to moral community.

  • 19 Nov 2007

    The debate about religion in public life is often cantankerous, says Simon Barrow. But a constructive new pamphlet on secularism from the Humanist Philosophers' Group shows us that a better standard of discussion is possible.

  • 19 Nov 2007

    Trying to make workplaces religion free is no solution to human fears about 'the other', says Simon Barrow, reflecting on recent cases of controversy involving religious dress and symbols in schools and companies.

  • 13 Nov 2007

    Modern democratic politics is in danger of turning into a beauty contest and an electoral pantomime, says Simon Barrow. It needs reconnecting with people in civil society, changing institutions and the grassroots.

  • 2 Nov 2007

    The calls for Sir Ian Blair's resignation as chief of the Metropolitan police may be a distraction from the real issues, says Simon Barrow, reflecting on the 2005 Stockwell terror shooting tragedy.

  • 17 Oct 2007

    Ekklesia is a think tank that promotes fresh forms of thought - without relying on tanks. In an interview with SCM, Simon Barrow explains what the deal is with post-Christendom and how to respond to the fuss about religion.